Journals not meeting REF requirements

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While HEFCE do not intend to restrict your choice of where to publish, there are some journals which do not readily comply with their open access policy so it is worth investigating this before you decide on a journal. Some examples of non-ref-compliant-journals used by Swansea authors are listed here but it is not intended to be comprehensive.

Problems could be:

  • The publisher does not allow you to deposit an accepted manuscript into a repository.
  • Deposit in a repository is permitted but with a longer embargo period than the policy allows (12 months for STEM subjects who submit to REF panels A and B and 24 months for others who submit to C and D).
  • The publisher has no information showing what you can or can’t do.

Checking your journal

  • The first thing to do is to look the journal up in Sherpa Romeo which contains publisher policies for the majority of journals.
  • If you can’t find details there try looking at the journal site itself, looking at links such as open access, copyright, author information to see if you can find out what they allow.
  • If you are still in doubt contact us at iss-research@swansea.ac.uk and we will look into it for you. In some cases it is necessary to contact the publisher.

What are my options if the journal doesn’t meet the requirements?

  • The HEFCE policy allows certain exceptions. The most likely ones to be relevant are:

The publication concerned requires an embargo period that exceeds the stated maxima, and was the most appropriate publication for the output.

 The publication concerned actively disallows open-access deposit in a repository, and was the most appropriate publication for the output.

If either of these apply you would still need to deposit your accepted manuscript in the repository but do not need to make it public until allowed by the publisher. If you apply for this exception you have to explain in the REF submission why “it was the most appropriate publication for the output”. More information here.

  • It may be worth contacting the publisher explaining why you need to deposit your article. Sometimes they are unaware of the requirements, especially if they are not UK based. You may want to use this outline letter-to-publisher-asking-for-permission-to-use-am
  • If you  would find it hard to think of a reason why you need to publish in that particular journal it may be best to consider whether other titles would make a better home for your paper.
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